India plans to work with private sector to nearly double drug R&D centers

India plans to nearly double over the next four or 5 years the number of its research institutes for drug discovery in association with private makers.

Pharmaceuticals Department Secretary V.K. Subburaj said the plan is to establish 5 more National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) units around the country to help the local industry innovate by producing its own new molecules.

There currently are 7 NIPER units in place.

But, Subburaj told the Business Standard in an interview, the industry needs to pull its own weight and look beyond the generics sector it has relied on in the past.

India's Pharmaceuticals Department Secretary V.K. Subburaj

He noted that India's presence in the sectors of monoclonal antibodies, special generics and blood products, all with a huge growth potential, "is almost nil."

The industry needs to shift its focus from generics to diversification into those other sectors that are begging for local attention as it continues to produce its specialty, he argued.

India produces about a quarter of the world's supply of generics. Adding those other sectors offers huge growth potential, he said, because India's share of the global market in them is only about 3%.

The potential is so great, Subburaj said, the India pharma industry even has the potential of taking 30% of the global generics sector at the same time, and not very far in the future.

That is why India's government is pushing for diversity by putting the right policies in place and setting the conditions for expansion and growth.

As stated previously, a similar push is going on in the medical devices industry and bulk drugs sector. "We have to create or own local manufacturing capacities," Subburaj said in the interview.

- here's the story from Business Standard